What is an example of cultural invention?

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Some types of inventions, such as technologies (computers, steam engines, water mills, e.g.) are physical while others are cultural. Cultural inventions can include legal systems, artistic genres, philosophy, or other immaterial aspects of a society. Often cultural inventions are far longer lasting and more durable than technological ones. Few people would wish to have their illnesses treated using nineteenth-century medical techniques or drive a forty-year old car, but many people still enjoy art and poetry from the distant past.

Ancient Greece, for example, invented such cultural phenomena as democracy, theater, and philosophy, while the Jewish people of over two millennia ago were the original source of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, and its descendants Christianity and Islam). The Romans invented many of the legal principles which still inform many western societies, while the philosophy of Confucius is still an important part of Chinese culture.

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Cultural inventions are things of a non-physical nature that were created by a particular culture and are passed down from generation to generation within that culture.  Cultural inventions may be a set of behaviors, a language, a legal or political system, a  belief system or even music.

An example of a cultural invention is reggae music. It is a brand of music that is indigenous to the people of Jamaica. It started in the 1960's by Jamaican Rastafarians living there. Rastafarians worship the King Haile Selassie who was made emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. Reggae music evolved thirty years later from other forms of music that had existed prior to 1960. People who spread reggae music worldwide include Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and through cultural acculturation reggae music has been incorporated into other cultures such as the hip-hop culture of African-Americans and it has also been popularized in countries such as Germany and Japan.



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